The Common Data Set (CDS) is a survey used by many institutions to supply basic institutional data to users. The Common Data Set initiative is a collaborative effort among data providers in the higher education community and publishers as represented by the College Board, Peterson's, part of The Thomson Corporation, and U.S. News & World Report. The combined goal of this collaboration is to improve the quality and accuracy of information provided to all involved in a student's transition into higher education, as well as to reduce the reporting burden on data providers.
This goal is attained by the development of clear, standard data items and definitions in order to determine a specific cohort relevant to each item. Data items and definitions used by the U.S. Department of Education in its higher education surveys often serve as a guide in the continued development of the CDS.
The CDS is compiled annually for Mount Holyoke College by the Office of Institutional Research.
Common Data Sets for the following academic years are available below: